Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

Cave-Man, Selling and the Art of Visual Storytelling

Posted by Mark Gibson on Fri, Nov 21, 2014

Are you familiar with the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux or Chauvet Caves in France? If you are not, please click on this link to the  Chauvet Cave Paintings.

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Topics: visual storytelling, whiteboarding, visual perception, cave-art

Selling with IMPACT: the technology executives guide to selling disruptive technology.

Posted by Mark Gibson on Thu, Nov 06, 2014

Successful entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople selling disruptive technology must learn to recognize early adopters, understand how early adopters engage with innovative technology vendors and how they manage a buying process. 

This is the subject of a new eBook from authors of “Why Killer Products Don’t Sell”, Ian Gotts and Dominic Rowsell, and Adrian King, entitled “IMPACT - the technology executive’s guide for selling B2B disruptive and innovative solutions”.  

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Topics: killer products, selling early adopters, lean startups

CSO Insights 2015 Sales Performance Optimization Survey

Posted by Mark Gibson on Wed, Nov 05, 2014

It's 2015 Chief Sales Officers (CSO) Insights Sales Performance Optimization survey time and this is your invitation to participate in one of the most comprehensive and useful surveys of sales behavior. 

Why bother?
For 20 minutes of your time you will receive the most comprehensive sales behavior survey in the industry. It will be interesting to see what sales executives place at the top of their Barriers to Effectiveness list in 2015. Here is last years report.
Results from previous research studies have been referenced by publications such as Harvard Business Review, Dow Jones, Wikipedia, Selling Power Magazine, and others.

2015 is all about revenue growth. Achieve this, and shareholder value will increase. Fail to do so, miss your number, and investors will punish you!

To help companies determine the right strategies to increase sales in the coming year, CSO Insights' 21st Sales Performance Optimization study will focus on four key themes:
  • Find More—by optimizing lead generation
  • Win More—by closing more forecast deals
  • Keep More—by minimizing customer churn
  • Grow More—by maximizing customer wallet share

The research report will retail for $795.

Be a part of the research project and get the results early in February at no charge.
As a special thanks, you will receive the CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization 2014 Key Trends topical report which summarizes last year's report.


Please feel free to forward this to your colleagues whom you think would like to participate and receive the 2015 CSO Insights Sales Performance Optimization Survey in February free of charge.

Click here to take the survey
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Topics: CSO Insights, sales performance, 3d printing, SPO

Why Marketing must lead in making content findable

Posted by Mark Gibson on Tue, Nov 04, 2014

This article why-marketers-must-lead-in-making-content-findable was published on Inbound.org today.

Finding, using and reusing sales, marketing and technical information resources should be simple and quick.

But isn’t in most companies.

64% of enterprise search practitioners in Findwise 2014 Survey believe information is hard to find. In Findwise 2013 survey, 79% believe that finding the right information is critical to business success. 

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Topics: content reuse

Don't Just Curate Content - Harvest it

Posted by Mark Gibson on Mon, Nov 03, 2014

Sandhill.com, published "Don't Just Curate Content - Harvest it" last week, which I co-wrote with Jim Burns of Avitage.


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Topics: Content Curation

Visual Storytelling for Salespeople - Video

Posted by Mark Gibson on Sun, Nov 02, 2014

Visual Storytelling is part 3 of the Your PowerPoint Sucks Webinar Series.

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Topics: visual storytelling

The Hero's Journey and Basic Storytelling - Video

Posted by Mark Gibson on Wed, Oct 15, 2014

In my prior post, I introduced Visual Perception, which is part 1 of a three part video series from the Webinar, Your PowerPoint Sucks - and what you can do about it.

I posted part 2 in a blog on LinkedIn today with part 2 of the video, Your PowerPoint Sucks, Pt 2. Basic Storytelling.

The following video included below is part 2 of the series and it is a primer on basic storytelling. It runs for just over 8 minutes and introduces the "Hero's Journey" story structure and the need for contrast and tension in your presentation or story.

Will be of interest to sales people, sales enablement professionals and marketers wishing to improve their ability to tell stories.

 
If you or your sales enablement or marketing team needs help with the underlying messaging and storyline to bring your presentations to life, please contact us.
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Topics: storytelling, powerpoint, the heros journey, joseph campbell

Your PowerPoint Presentations Suck Pt. 1 Visual Perception -Video

Posted by Mark Gibson on Thu, Oct 09, 2014

Do your PowerPoint sales presentations suck? - be honest.

If they look anything like the spoof slide below, then this series of three 10-minute videos will be of interest. 

PowerPoint is ubiquitous, often maligned and most often misused... but as a presentation medium it has great utility.

We just need to get better at using PowerPoint and to improve the stories and visual elements that we use to create our presentations.

Your PowerPoint Sucks and what you can do about it

Part 1. A brief primer on visual perception with some important concepts.
Part 2. A primer on basic storytelling.
Part 3. A primer on visual storytelling.



If you or your sales enablement or marketing team needs help with the underlying messaging and storyline to bring your presentations to life, please contact us.
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Topics: storytelling, powerpoint, visual storytelling, story

I'm Blushing - I Sent a Piece of Naked Content

Posted by Mark Gibson on Wed, Oct 01, 2014

Editors, journalists, marketers, sales operations and sales enablement professionals, who curate content for readers to share, should always give it a content header to create value for the receiver.

A content header is an explanatory summary that precedes the content body or link, to help the reader to quickly determine if the content fits their requirement, is useful in other ways, or will work for their customer use-case.

The job of content is to get shared and passed along. A content header multiplies the likelihood that a piece of content will get shared, by an order of magnitude.

A Content Header has 3 Purposes

  1. It helps the person creating or preparing the content to think clearly about the purpose of the content, the audience and the key themes so it will resonate with the content consumer.
  2. It helps when requisitioning content from marketers, agencies, and external writers.
  3. It helps people to deploy the content more effectively, so that it will get shared and read. 
When someone creates a piece of content in most businesses today, it may get used once or twice and never see the light of day again.

When content is prepared in a collaborative content ecosystem, it gets created once with a content header, and is available for consumption and reuse by marketing, demand management, sales, channels and support.

Content header enables a fast and convenient, single point of access to enterprise content, regardless of content type or where it is located.

While there are no standards for content headers, this is the one that we use... feel free to use it in your content operations.

Content Header Template: 

Thanks to Jim Burns of Avitage for this short content header.

Content Type and Title:
Author:   
Source:   
Date:   
Topics:   
Target Audiences (Segments/Roles): 
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Topics: Deloitte, content header, naked content

Rules for Buyers During a B2B Sales Call

Posted by Mark Gibson on Wed, Sep 24, 2014

This blog post is a set of behavioral rules for B2B technology buyers to follow,  so as to maximize the value and the time of the hard working, honest and ethical salesperson sitting across the desk or on the phone. 

It will also serve to minimize the inconvenience and continuing lost profits the buyer's company is making without your solutions.

The Rules

  1. When a salesperson calls you on the phone, you will stop what you are doing, pick up the phone and smile when you say, "Hello, this is (Your Name), how are you?"
  2. You will be amused with the variety blurting-out, fumbling, 90-second introductions without breathing, awkward silences and obvious lack of preparation, professionalism and nervousness of the salesperson. 
  3. After they have finished their intro, you will ask, "how can I help you"? 
  4. You will refrain from hanging up, giving excuses about being in a meeting, or chastising your administrator, who let this call slip through.
  5. If the salesperson is planning a trip to your location in the near future, you will consider it a stroke-of-luck and make space on your calendar to accommodate an in-person call.
  6. You will hear the salesperson out and never ask them to send more information in an email or to call back at a more convenient time for them, because what they have to say could save you and your company serious money.... even get you promoted!
  7. You will answer all questions the salesperson asks to the best of your ability, regardless of their nature, how many they ask or the irrelevance to your role and business.
  8. You will disclose any pain or discomfort in your physical condition, even a minor back-ache, because salespeople ar looking for pain and may have something in their bag that can help.
  9. You will inquire about the features of their products and be curious about who else is using them and the benefits they are getting and welcome any opportunity to see the product in action in a live demo.
  10. You will smile knowingly as the sales rep plugs in the Lap-top, fumbles with the LCD technology, or these days, more coolly passes you the iPad and brings up the PowerPoint presentation or video clip. 
  11. Most importantly, during the presentation you will refrain from playing with your smart-phone and stay focused on the bullets and message, because there is infinite wisdom, somewhere in the presentation.
  12. You will wait until the salesperson has emptied your bucket of potential objections and enjoy the festival of the salesperson digging holes for themselves while trying to counter them.
  13. You will never promise to get back to the salesperson unless you truly mean it.
  14. You will nod and promise not to smirk when the salesperson asks any question beginning with "If we could show you a way...." 
  15. You will be grateful when the salesperson interrupts you before you have finished your sentence (while you are discussing the issues that are important to you) and then tells you what you need to do (use their product), because the sooner you find out, the better.
  16. You promise to engage any salesperson with an earnest and professorial look on their face; possibly wearing a chalk-dusted sports coat with leather elbow-pads, carrying a pipe, wearing a sword on their hip or carrying a lance, or even wearing a measuring tape and carrying a pair of scissors. They are Challengers and are going to challenge your assumptions and to teach you about the hidden jewels in your business, that only they can help you discover.
  17. This is the biggie - never lie to a salesperson- we can tell!
If you are a sales professional or manager and find this slightly amusing and would like to up-level the conversations you or your sales team is having with buyers, we can help.

Content to Support Sales Conversations

We can help sales, marketing and sales enablement leaders with content deployment, content strategy and to create the conversational content that your team needs to avoid the above, including:
  • Ideal customer profiles, including persona's, problems and causes,
  • Relevant capabilities and competitive positioning,
  • Call preparation guides,
  • Why Change and Point of View conversations,
  • Inventories of emails and customer stories,
  • Key questions to ask and key objections and counters,
  • Facts, data, analyst reports, insights,
  • Visual support, video, webinars and ebooks,
  • Curated 3rd party content to nurture opportunities.
If you believe that content is an important enabler of sales success, you are invited to find out more.  

If you found this amusing or have committed any of the sins above, or know someone who needs to read the rules, please pass it on.


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Topics: sales enablement, sales conversations, conversational content

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